why is woodworking important for pre-school children?

Woodworking is a powerful means of building self-esteem. With woodworking, children develop at their own pace and find their own challenges.

why is woodworking important for pre-school children?

Woodworking is a powerful means of building self-esteem. With woodworking, children develop at their own pace and find their own challenges. Once they have mastered the basic skills, they move on to open-ended exploration, discovering possibilities and making unique creations. Woodworking is a unique activity for children to learn.

For example, children can work with natural materials and use real tools to solve unexpected problems. They can also express themselves and follow their curiosities while playing with wood. The secret to keeping children really engaged in woodworking is that they follow their own interests and solve their own problems to create their work. Woodworking is an ideal way to help children work in their "zone of proximal development".

Through hands-on learning, children are building a foundation in their STEAM thinking skills and are much more likely to develop an interest in and pursue STEAM topics - so once again woodworking could be seen as beneficial to the wider narrative. Today, teachers teaching woodwork regularly see exceptional levels of engagement, with deep attention and concentration accompanied by persistence and perseverance in the most demanding tasks, especially in solving complex problems. In the book, Peter talks about the special ability of woodwork to boost children's self-esteem and confidence. Woodworking is a wonderful medium for expressive art and creative design and also has the advantage of encompassing many other areas of learning and development, providing a truly cross-curricular activity.

When exploring woodworking with very young children, you can even work directly on the floor rather than at a table. Children can be taught to use the woodworking area appropriately and to learn to respect tools, just as in any other area of the classroom. When most people think of woodworking for children, they picture the end product, perhaps the birdhouse or the napkin holder. My favourite part of "Learning with Wood" is the section on woodworking projects that can be done in early childhood centres.

For example, Peter recommends introducing woodworking in the early preschool years by allowing children to play with wooden blocks and objects. On Peter's website, "Irresistible Learning", there are lots of resources to help you get started with woodworking in the early years. The children's behaviour is exemplary at the woodworking bench: they are engaged and doing something they enjoy. By following these steps, woodworking becomes a low-risk activity when introduced and supervised correctly.

The Big Bang project is supported by a number of stakeholders, including Irresistible Learning, the University of Bristol, Routledge and the Early Childhood Woodwork Association. See also James Lochead-MacMillan's article on how his centre engaged in self-revision of the woodwork area and turned a Wendy house into a popular workshop space.

Georgia Fortin
Georgia Fortin

Friendly bacon buff. Total tv nerd. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Freelance bacon nerd. Typical beer fanatic.

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